Venezuela: Former mayor transferred to prison as political crisis worsens

The transfer of a former opposition mayor to prison from house arrest at 3am this morning without any notice is a vile maneuver by the Venezuelan authorities to silence any critics amidst a growing political and humanitarian crisis in the country, Amnesty International said.

“Authorities in Venezuela seem to be willing to stop at nothing in their quest to prevent anyone from criticizing them, particularly as the political and humanitarian situation in the country continues to deteriorate,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Authorities in Venezuela seem to be willing to stop at nothing in their quest to prevent anyone from criticizing them, particularly as the political and humanitarian situation in the country continues to deteriorate
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

Daniel Omar Ceballos Morales, former mayor of the city of San Cristóbal and leader of the opposition party Popular Will, was sentenced to 12 months in prison in 2014 after failing to follow an order to stop opposition protesters from erecting barricades in the city.

In August 2015 he was put under house arrest for health reasons. He is now awaiting trial on charges including rebellion and conspiracy to commit a crime in relation to the violent protests that took place across the country in 2014.

According to his wife, members of Venezuela’s Intelligence Service went to Ceballo’s home at 3am this morning and transferred him without notice or reason.

“Instead of persecuting anyone who disagrees with the government, the authorities in Venezuela must focus on findings ways to lift the country out of the deep crisis it has been submerged in for years.”